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Naughty horse mystery ... mystery solved

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  • Naughty horse mystery ... mystery solved

    So, last night I had a lesson on a horse at my barn that isn't mine, but who is currently somewhat riderless. He's a 13 yr. old QH who has done western pleasure, done jumpers, a little dressage, whatever. He's usually very willing and energetic, likes to be messed with, etc. Last night, though, we were a bit puzzled. He was a little sucked back, seemed stiff, and about midway through the lesson, started bucking a bit. Not quite 'I'm going to get rid of you' bucking, but still, not cool. Trainer got on him, and worked him a bit, and he was better, and I got back on and we ended on a better note. Still we were puzzled by his unusually grumpy behavior.

    Then, just before I got off, he peed. Then in the barn aisle, he peed some more. And a few minutes later, more peeing. And finally when I turned him out, he peed for a solid 30 seconds. Good grief! Then trainer and I noted that he had started to 'drop' towards the end of the lesson, also unusual.

    So from now on, we'll make sure to give him an opportunity to take care of business before the ride. He was probably thinking that those clueless humans just wouldn't listen to him. If he was as uncomfortable as I suspect, I understand a little balkiness, but the bucking was not ok.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

  • #2
    poor polite pony. My guy wont pee undersaddle either, I always thougth it was good manners on his part.


    • Original Poster

      Yeah, we felt stupid, but pony had been turned out, and I've seen him pee outside, so it never occurred to me that I needed to be aware of that. I am looking forward to our next ride being peacable like others have. ;-)
      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


      • #4
        I've had this happen several times. Horse simply doesn't want to urinate under saddle. He gets cranky. I wish he would just go ahead and pee. Then we could continue our work and he would have to feel so much better.

        A couple of weeks ago as I was leading him through the gate in the indoor he stopped dead and proceeded to urinate for so long that even the adults started to giggle.

        Anyone have any strategies for teaching them to urinate before we start to ride or at least being willing to pee under saddle? I can't tell if he really has to go or if he's teaching me to give him an extra rest break.
        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


        • #5
          Originally posted by mswillie View Post
          Anyone have any strategies for teaching them to urinate before we start to ride or at least being willing to pee under saddle? I can't tell if he really has to go or if he's teaching me to give him an extra rest break.
          They can learn to pee on command. Race horses often are taught to pee in response to whistling, as a way to collect urine for drug tests. I rode a Standardbred who learned it himself after awhile, he started stopping to pee whenever I was leading him in from the pasture. I guess he figured out that we likely would be going for a ride and he better empty out!


          • #6
            I used to always put my horse into a stall for a few minutes before riding - seems that most horses will urinate, especially on new bedding. Then, horsie's comfy for our lesson or ride.

            I suppose if some of you board, and have a 24/7 turnout thing going on, then maybe you don't have access to a clean stall??


            • Original Poster

              We have access to a stall, and now that I know that it's a thing with him, I'll see if taking my time bringing him in from turnout will give him time to take care of it himself. But it was sad / funny that we were correcting his attitude, when in fact he just needed a pee break. I was initially thinking he was uncomfortable, perhaps had a sore back (which was in the vicinity of being correct!) but didn't consider that particular problem.

              Some horses are always trying to educate us.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


              • #8
                My boy has developed the horrible habit of peeing when I put him in the trailer, yuck!!!! I've waited him out a few times after long rides and he would pee before being loaded but it takes a bit of time, unless I load him up. I'm thinking he probably had to go for a while but wouldn't do it under saddle.


                • Original Poster

                  Didn't have time (or energy, after a whole day of gardening) to ride Mr. Pony last night, but when I went to take him a cookie, he trotted from across the field to come see me (and the cookie). Will have to see tonight if he's more ready to work when he's comfortable again.
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • #10
                    One of the school horses I rode like to pee in the same spot in the field surrounding the outdoor, so we always did our little jaunt over to the "boy's room" and then went in for the lesson. He liked his little routine, that one.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • #11
                      Some friends of ours, after we are done trail riding, will walk their horses around like you would a dog, going from spot to spot and let the horses sniff, then they would pee, both of them (not at the same time, well maybe sometimes) and then they loaded them on the trailer! They do it everytime like on queue, so now we all just walk our horses around hoping they will pee outside the trailer and not on it and it usually works!! Too funny seeing about 8 people walking their horses around like dogs around 5 or so trailers and amoung the trees, LOL!
                      I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                      Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                      • #12
                        I ALWAYS put my horses in their stalls before I ride if they've been out. I figure it gives them a little time to cool down, grab a drink of water, take care of any business, etc. It's just something I've always done. They almost always take advantage of it as well.


                        • Original Poster

                          smid2, the barn just last week switched to night turnout for the summer; since I almost always ride him in the evenings, he has always previously BEEN IN his stall before I rode him, so it just wasn't anything that needed thought. Friday was the first or second time I'd fetched him from turnout to ride.
                          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                          • #14
                            Aaahhhh ok. That does throw a monkey wrench into things doesn't it. And please don't take my post as anything more then how I do things. There are people in my barn who pull their horses out of the pasture, groom them up and ride without any problems as well. This is just something I always do so that I avoid the "I gotta go!" legs crossed ride. My mare is real particular. She'll get real ornery if I ask her to do much when she's gotta pee, even to the point of refusing jumps and such. So that's just a procedure I adopted to avoid fighting with her anymore then I usually do!


                            • Original Poster

                              next ride: still some 'tude, but mainly better

                              nope, smid2, you made good points.

                              So, tonight our ride was much less bucky, but he still would throw in a single buck when I would ask him to be a little rounder cantering. I now think I should have pushed him right through it, put my leg on, etc. but I was alone at the barn and didn't want to get dumped. So I made him work some more doing small circles trotting, and cantered once more without a buck, and called it a night. But last ride he was bucking when asked to go from the walk to the trot without tossing his head; tonight I could see him thinking about telling me to stuff it, but deciding to do the transition nicely, and I praised him for that. He is a challenging but ultimately cooperative horse -- the trot work he gave me tonight, by the end, was very nice, and he was soft and bending. He hasn't been in consistent work for some time, and so I'm just going to patiently stick with him, and get my trainer on him again next week. As he gets more accustomed to really working, and as I get comfortable asserting what we are asking him to do, I hope to work through this bucking thing. It's only a single small buck while going forward, not a 'I'm getting rid of you now' series of them, so far, I can deal.

                              And yes, when I brought him in from the field, I tossed him in the stall while I gathered up my gear, and he took care of business (making a mess of the stall). So we have that part figured out.
                              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                              • #16
                                My dressage gelding has an abnormally small bladder as a result of many years of having a bladder stone growing in there (stone removed 2 years ago). If you are riding him and he gets "humpy" or "bucky" you can bet his bladder is full. I pull over and give him the race horse whistle, his cue to pee. At shows, I've made sure he pees before we go into for our test. It took me some anguished rides in order to discover this about him --- boy did I feel bad about it.

                                You might suggest that they have this guy ultrasounded and checked for a bladder or UT stone. Former owner of my gelding said he'd been 'funny' for years about getting humpy under saddle, and they'd determined it had to do with him needing to pee, but sadly.....nobody realized a stone the size of a softball was taking up the whole bladder!